Photo: PSP Images

No fan attendance at Brands Hatch, Oulton Park

Motorsport Vision has confirmed that fans will not be able to attend any of its BTCC events this month, meaning both Brands Hatch and Oulton Park will now run behind closed doors.

MSV had hoped to allow a limited number of fans to attend events but was forced to change plans for this weekends season opener at Donington Park when the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport revealed that the BTCC was classed as ‘elite sport’.

Further talks with the DCMS have now confirmed that fans will be unable to attend any event for either the BTCC or British Superbikes at MSV’s venues this month meaning there will be no fans at touring car meetings until at least round four at Knockhill.

The Scottish circuit is hoping to be granted permission to use the BTCC meeting as a test event for the latest stage of the COVID-19 recovery plan in Scotland – which would allow limited fan attendance.

“MSV can today (31/7) confirm that, following further consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), we will be unable to permit spectators at any BTCC or Bennetts BSB events during August,” a statement from MSV read.

“MSV has followed the government’s guidance at every stage in our event planning. Regrettably, in our most recent consultation with DCMS, their interpretation of the definition of Elite Sport has widened to include BTCC and BSB, as the leading national championships in the UK.

“This position coincides with the government’s decision to postpone any further test events with spectators at Elite Sport fixtures. Unfortunately this classification means that these events must now follow the government’s Elite Sport pathway, with spectators presently unable to attend.

“In line with the wording of Elite Sport guidance, we have not considered these events to be Elite Sport, with the guidance focussed towards sports such as Premier League football and Rugby League, which tends to attract huge crowds, mostly in stadiums, and typically rely on public transport.

“By contrast, circuit venues are by their very nature wide-open spaces like parks, with ample room to enable social distancing across dozens of spectator viewing areas.

“To be clear, the decision not to allow spectators at BTCC and BSB events has nothing to do with MSV’s comprehensive Covid-Secure procedures for keeping our customers and staff safe.

“We hope that we will be able to welcome spectators back to these events soon, and will maintain a dialogue with DCMS and our local authorities to pursue that agenda, always with public health as a priority. We will provide further updates on BSB and BTCC events beyond August in due course.”